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April exports grows by 3.2% year on year: Rahul Khullar

India's exports grew by 3.2% to $24.5 billion in first month of the new fiscal emerging out of the negative zone it slipped into last month, while growth in imports slowed down to 3.8% to $37.9 billion, reducing pressure on the country's balance of payments.

"If the country's trade deficit stays at around $13 billion for the rest of the year, we are looking at a figure of $156 billion, which is much lower than last year's $185 billion," commerce secretary Rahul Khullar said while announcing the April trade numbers to the media.

Export growth for the year is, however, likely to be around 15%, as the situation in the US and EU, India's primary exports market, is not very bright. "Latest number in the US not as encouraging as a month ago, the situation in Europe is disheartening. It is too early to say, but my guess is that with a 10%-15% growth this year and i will be lucky. This is, of course, subject to review later on," Khullar said.

The drop in import growth is primarily due to a 33% decrease in gold imports at $3.1 billion and 63.3% decline in pearls and precious stones imports during April 2012. "Gold and silver imports have declined because of price rise as well as as disruption in April because of the excise thing," Khullar said.

Imports of fertiliser and coal have, however, continued to rise. The secretary said the government's pricing policy would also determine the demand for such commodities in the months to come and affect import.

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